Beyond the COM: Librarians at ALA 2016

This past weekend, a few of our library staff had a chance to attend the marathon that was the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition right here in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. For a conference that didn’t require us to actually travel anywhere, we definitely found ourselves just as busy and involved as if we had actually traveled out of state. It’s not too often we attend conferences not centered around medical librarianship, but this was a good opportunity to reconnect with our colleagues working in more traditional libraries.


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Beyond the COM: Librarians at MLA 2016

Earlier this month the faculty librarians had the chance to travel to the 2016 Medical Library Association Annual Meeting. Themed “Mosaic: Be part of the big picture”, the meeting was held in Toronto, Canada from May 13 – 18 and brought together two additional groups for the event, the Canadian Health Libraries Association and the International Clinical Librarian Conference.

Photo May 15, 10 19 18 AM

From left to right, Shalu Gillum, Deedra Walton, Pammy Herring, Nadine Dexter, and Natasha Williams at the opening session Sunday morning

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Beyond the COM: May 2015 Conference Adventures! Part 2

We hope you enjoyed our post last week introducing the two conferences our library staff attended this month. This is Part 2 of that post, which focuses on our trip to Austin, Texas, for the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting.

Unlimited Potential at MLA 2015

Nadine Dexter, Michael Garner, Pamela (Pammy) Herring, and Melodie Gardner journeyed to Austin, Texas for the 2015 Medical Library Association annual conference. The conference began with an awesome lecture by the first African-American woman NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison. She captured the audience’s attention with her numerous Star Trek references (she was on an episode of ST:TNG and is an astronaut, so why not?), and kept them captivated with her talk on the 100 Year Starship program. For humans to get to the point where we can travel to the next galaxy, we’re going to have to think outside the box. As the world of medical libraries changes, Librarians will need to do the same.

Pammy, Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

Pammy,  Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

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Beyond the COM: May 2015 Conference Adventures! Part 1

Over the course of the last month or so, most of us in the library have been busily preparing to participate in two big library conferences that occurred one after the other this past week. This year, we were very fortunate to be presenting at both the Florida Library Association’s 2015 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, and the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX! This will be a two part recap of our adventures; first up is FLA 2015!

Inspiring Innovation at FLA 2015

Shalu and Natasha at FLA 2015

Natasha and Shalu at FLA 2015

This year, the Florida Library Association’s annual conference was held at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL, from May 12 – 15. It has always been a great conference to attend to get fun new ideas for improving our public services (our Step 1 Survival Coffee Cart actually came about in part because of a session we attended at the 2013 conference!). Further, we can connect with the more traditional side of librarianship we don’t get to hear so much about in the medical librarianship world. We had two of our staff attend, our Public Services Librarian Shalu and myself (hi there, Natasha here!), as well as our colleague Kerry, who recently moved onto a new position out of state.

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Beyond the COM: Library Staff at SC/MLA 2014

IMG_4755[5]This year the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SC/MLA) held its annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama from October 26 through October 30. Representing the Harriet F. Ginsburg Library were Nadine Dexter, Deedra Walton, Pamela Herring, and Michael Garner.  The theme for the meeting this year was “Making a Difference in Health.” The library presented a poster entitled “Plant a Seed and Watch It Grow: Nurturing a Foundation for College-Wide Workplace Wellness Programs” which highlighted the work that the library lead with the workplace wellness initiative that centered around the FitBit wearable technology. While the presentation was a highlight for each of us there were many other events to keep us busy throughout the day: a meeting of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), paper presentations, speakers, roundtable discussions, the ability to meet with vendors face-to-face, the opportunity to network with new colleagues from other medical libraries in the southeastern region of the United States, and the chance to catch up with friends not seen since the last annual meeting.

The conference consisted of more than just attending meetings. We took advantage of down time to check out Mobile, Alabama and taste some of the local cuisine, from burgers at a restaurant called the Royal Scam (the food was in fact actual food, no tricks or funny business!) to fantastic seafood at the Oyster House (fire-grilled oysters!), one of the many top notch seafood restaurants.

Robert DeNiro was also in town filming a movie titled Bus 657 also starring Dave Bautista, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, and Lydia Hull. Check it out on IMDB. Unfortunately Mr. DeNiro was too busy to drop by the conference.

The conference wrapped up with a banquet at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers flow into Mobile Bay. In the setting we were treated to a fantastic meal of local food including shrimp, fish, corn nuggets, and capped off with fresh made bread pudding. While we ate we were treated to the music of a bluegrass band.

2014-10-27 18.35.56Interesting Fact: Mobile, Alabama is the first place in the United States to start annual celebrations of Mardi Gras. During the opening of the conference we were pelted with beads by a mask-wearing krewe. Duck!

Beyond the COM: Library Staff at MLA 2014

This poster is now displayed outside the library!

This poster is now displayed outside the library!

Three weeks ago, members of our library staff had the opportunity to interact with other medical library professionals outside of the College of Medicine at the 2014 Medical Library Association (MLA) conference. This year the annual conference was held in Chicago. The UCF College of Medicine was represented by Nadine Dexter, the director of the health sciences library, Deedra Walton, Michael Garner, Kerry McKee, and Melodie Gardner. The theme of the conference was Building Our Information Future. Supporting that theme, the UCF librarians presented a poster entitled “Leading the Way to Building a Foundation for College-Wide Workplace Wellness Programs: A Model for Health Sciences Libraries,” showcasing the part that wearable technology could have toward creating a culture of workplace wellness (this poster was the result of our year-long Fitbit study!).

presentationIn addition to the presentation of the poster, the conference was a great place to meet with the vendors of the resources that the library uses and network with our fellow librarians to exchange ideas on how to better serve those that use our services. Melodie took a couple of continuing-education courses; she found “Statistics in Libraries” and “Becoming an Expert Searcher” to be very informative.  Everyone attended sessions on topics such as mobile technology in medical education and clinical services, marketing and branding the library, systematic reviews, the role of metadata in medical libraries, and patron privacy.

On top of all this was the culture, food, and skyline of the host city. All of this added up to make the annual conference an interesting and impactful event that the attendees will not soon forget.


Beyond the COM: Library Team Field Trip to the Downtown Public Library

Two weekends ago, the library staff was able to get out of the office and spend an afternoon together at the Orange County Public Library in Downtown Orlando. Specifically, we dropped in to visit the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity. We tweeted about the visit at the time; check out our Twitter account if you missed hearing about it or want to see additional pictures!

recording studio

Audio Production Studio at the Melrose Center

The center itself is located on the 2nd floor of the library, and covers  26,000 square feet of space. Guests in the center have access to the Video Production Studio, Audio Production Studio, Photography Studio, Simulation Lab, Fabrication Lab, and much more. Further, the library offers lots of classes each month, and provides top software to use on all of the computers in the center.


Prior to use, all interested users need to complete a general  orientation and register for a photo-ID card to be used to access the center services. Separate orientations and training for each of the specialized studios and labs wanting to be utilized by each patron in the center must also be completed  before that resource can be used.

Our boss, Nadine, enjoying the giant Interactive Wall.

Our boss, Nadine, enjoying the giant Interactive Wall.

Perhaps the most impressive part of these offerings is that most of the services are absolutely FREE to Orange County Library District cardholders; if you already have an Orange County Library Card, you’re halfway to enjoying the center to the fullest! Patrons outside of the Orange County Library District can also enjoy the center at a reasonable charge. For more information on booking fees for cardholders and non-cardholders, you can check out their website.

One of the main reasons we decided to visit the Melrose Center was because we heard they had a 3D printer in their possession. Lately, we’ve been really interested in 3D printers and what the they can do. It’s been interesting to think about 3D printers in the context of how they could be used in medical education. We’d never seen one up close and in person, so when we saw we could get a demo of one, we were pretty excited about it. Printing an object can take some time, but the staff member we worked with chose a small and simple object to print, and the whole process took around 5 minutes or so to complete. The printer being used at the time was the MakerBot Replicator 2.

Here’s a short video of that demo for you to enjoy! You’ll hear briefly about what 3D printing entails, how the printer prints, and what sort of maintenance a 3D printer requires. (If you have difficulty hearing the voice audio, turn on Closed Captioning!)

Incidentally, this video was made and edited in iMovie – the iOS App and the desktop version! If you want to know more about making your own short movies in iMovie, feel free to come by the Health Sciences Library and Natasha can give you a quick demo.

Our library’s mission is to provide the COM students, staff, faculty, and community with evidence-based information resources using the latest innovative technology. We want to support the education, research, and patient-care initiatives of the College in a number of ways. This trip allowed us to get a close look at what some of our colleagues in the public library system are doing with cool new technology for their patrons. The more we learn about what others are doing, the more innovations we can work to bring to our library space to share with the COM.




Beyond the COM: HSL Librarians @ 2014 Information Fluency Conference

Your HSL librarians held a panel discussion yesterday, February 26th,  at Day 1 of the 2014 Information Fluency Conference at the UCF main campus. The panel discussed how the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library went from a staff of one (Director Nadine Dexter), to the dynamic team it is today, and how the library came to be a 98% virtual library and a national leader in tablet deployment in medical education.

Head over to SlideShare to check out our presentation, “Creating a Virtual Health Sciences Library for the 21st Century: From Vision to National Leader.”



Beyond the COM: The Florida Health Sciences Library Association annual meeting

This past week, a portion of the Health Sciences Library staff had the opportunity to attend the Florida Health Sciences Library Association (FHSLA) annual meeting, which was held at the Courtyard Marriot in Lake Buena Vista. The two-day meeting gave our librarians a chance to network and collaborate with other medical librarians across the state, as well as a chance to attend some informative continuing education workshops and sessions.

Among sessions held, FHSLA put together a “Mobile Technology Panel” to stimulate conversation about how libraries are using mobile technology with their patrons. Our technology guru and Medical Informatics Librarian, Michael Garner, was one of three librarians asked to sit on the panel, and he was able to share with everyone the details of our library’s mobile technology and iPad initiative. It was also a great chance for us to learn what our colleagues are doing, and how our successes have influenced them.

FHSLA’s leadership is made up of medical librarians from the academic community, as well as from the hospital community. Our Public Services Librarian, Shalu Gillum, served as Secretary of FHSLA last year, and Deedra Walton, our Electronic Resources Librarian, served as Treasurer. During the business meeting, Shalu was re-elected to serve another term as Secretary. The Treasurer position is not yet up for re-election, so Deedra will be continuing in that capacity for one more year.

FHSLA also awards scholarships to attend their annual meeting to students pursuing a graduate degree in Library and Information Science. Typically, they alternate each year between awarding a student at Florida State University’s library school and the University of South Florida’s library school, which are the only two colleges in the state that offer graduate degrees in Library and Information Science. This year’s scholarship recipient was our very own Natasha Fortune, one of our Sr. Library Technical Assistants, who will be graduating from FSU this coming December. The scholarship provided Natasha with the opportunity to attend all of the meeting activities; she was even able to take a CE course, too.

We’re thrilled to have our library so well represented in a statewide organization!